SLCN and vulnerable children

Speech, language and communication needs and vulnerable children

The impacts of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) are wide reaching. Being unable to communicate can make children even more vulnerable when it comes to issues around safeguarding. Schools have a duty to ensure a child is not prevented from telling their story due to their communication difficulties. This means they need to:

  • Have a clear statement in their safeguarding policy about how they will support children and young people with communication difficulties.
  • Ensure they are creative in how they consult with children in order to help them clearly explain. Support for how to do this is available here.
  • Check the child’s understanding and ensure the language they are using is accessible. For example, use short sentences, chunk information, use visual supports.
  • Allow the child to use different ways to communicate what has happened.


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